Monday, August 20, 2007

Scared About Surgery

Posted by Anonymous.


Today, and every day, as I have done now for months, I am facing down the demons of anxiety that plague my days and ruin my nights - - and I'm sick of it. There is a reason for this, and I come here to the Basement for some sense of peace or feedback, I feel pretty desperate for comfort.

My little boy was born with an undescended testicle. Fairly common, I understand. And his ped. has reminded me sternly at every well-visit that at one year, if it hasn't come down, it would need to be "brought down." Nice words for surgery. That thought has been sickening to me. I've changed diapers trying so hard to be goofy-mom, happy everything's-ok-mom, but with every diaper change, I have looked with worry at the lopsided little scrotum (wish there were a better word for it) and prayed, sometimes audibly, that the little bugger would just come on down. It hasn't. We met with a pediatric urologist last week, and as I feared, he needs to have the surgery done in the first week of September. It's a very common surgery, and it's done on an outpatient basis, but I am still Absolutely. Terrified. He'll be under general for about an hour and a half. The dread surrounding this whole thing has been just awful for me. I have a very vivid imagination, and have had to push horrible pictures away in my mind, fears about the anesthesia, fears about his recovery. It is hard for me to sleep, it is hard for me to look at him and his smiling little drooly face and think of what's to come. I try so hard to force the positive thoughts into my brain, I have guilt for not being able to do that very well. So mostly, I lie awake at night and cry. Perspective is shot. My mother strings are too tight to let go of this worry.

I know that this surgery needs to be done, and I know why. It would not be fair to him to not do it. And that brings me a little sense of purpose and comfort, but the demons of anxiety plague me still. Then it's compounded by this guilt that I should be manifesting positive energy and I'm allowing too much fear to dictate my life, and now my son's life... yeesh! I have googled the bejeesus out of anything related to the condition and the surgery, and I've found some helpful things, but most of all, what I really want and need, is some mom-feedback... some comfort, some love from the ones who understand the pain of waiting for this surgery to take place, someone who's been through those awful moments where you hand your Everything to a nurse and they disappear through the OR doors, and you sit with your spouse in the holding room, waiting, crying. This is a huge hurdle for me. Anybody been there?

Oh, and I also feel guilty (there's a trend here) because I know that it could be worse, there are little tiny newborns who have heart surgery every day, and here I am freaking out over this procedure, but it's my little punkin' man, it's my whole world. Oh boy. Thanks, everyone. I just want us all to be ok.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hugs. I understand. My little guy needed ear tubes when he was a year old. It's a much quicker surgery than your little guy's, but still involves anesthesia and the associated risks. It was scary as heck, but the surgery was worth it. We went from 1 or 2 ear infections a month down to 2 in nearly 2 years. My husband and I debated on the surgery for months (knowing it would eventually be necessary), but I know we made the right choice.

Avalon said...

I was one of the people that parents used to hand their babies over to in the Emergency Room . We often had to do painful and scary procedures to them, and I would always make sure to sing to them, rock them and hold them close until they were comfortable. Rest assured that your baby boy will be in the best hands possible, and while they may not be your hands, they will still hold him tight and keep him safe until he is back with you. best of luck.

cardiogirl said...

Agreed. ANY type of "procedure" that includes general anesthesia for a baby strikes fear in my heart. Our little girl had tubes put in her ears last February (she was 18 months old) and it was terrible on me. I cried. But she was fine, and like anonymous noted above, no ear infections since.

Redneck Mommy said...

Hmm, well I've been there, so many times I've lost count. I've walked that kiddie into the o.r. for tubes, g-tube insertions, foot correction, bone removal, and cardiac repair just to name a few.

It never gets easier no matter how big or little the surgery is. It's your baby. What you're feeling is normal.

It shall all work out. (My nephew had the same problem and poof! after the surgery he was right as rain. Such a quick recovery.)

Good luck to y'all. Just remember to love him hard and hang on to the fact that he is healthy. So many other parent's can't say the same about their babies.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery...to both of ya.

Anonymous said...

Oooooooh, have I been there! My daughter had major foot reconstruction when she was eight. I carried her piggy back style into the OR and stayed down in her face whispering to her until she fell asleep. So much so that when I stood up I had inhaled a teeny bit too much of the blow-by gas and was a little tipsy! She had to be put under again several weeks later to have pins removed from her foot. I can so completely understand how you're feeling. It feels like yesterday and she's 12 now! That said, while your son's surgery is routine procedure it's not routine for you, so the way you're feeling is perfectly understandable. I can tell you that you will come out on the other side and the feeling of relief will overshadow all of this anxiety. There are better days ahead!
Best of luck to all of you...

Awesome Mom said...

It is hard to hand your child over to the operating room staff but they are very nice people and will take excellent care of your little guy. We had to face my son's first heart surgery before we had even really gotten a chance to bond with him so it was not as tough as his second and third surgery where it ripped my heart out to leave him on that table in the operating room. The nurse each time gave me a hug as I left the room assuring me that they would take good care of him.

Before you know it you will have him back in your arms again just fine and dandy. Try not to obsess too much and keep busy in the days before the surgery. Take time to do special things with your son.

Corey said...

My daughter had surgery shortly after her first birthday to repair a hernia. It's scary but these doctors know what they are doing. It will be over before you know it. Good luck, this will soon be a distant memory.

flutter said...

Honey of COURSE you're nervous, and scared! He's your baby! I don't think it's a contest about whose kid has had the bigger surgery. You have a right to be concerned for your munchkin. Rest assured, though that this a fairly common procedure, and he will be totally ok. I'll be thinking about you.

Becky said...

I understand your fears completely. When my son was 2, he had surgery to repair an umbilical hernia. No big deal, right? Well, this was my SON we were talking about! After it was all said and done, it WASN'T a big deal afterall, he was up and playing literally 2 hours after surgery. At age 6 (today!!), he has no memory of it and is completely fine.

But I remember the fear (and the guilt about it).

Lisa b said...

As others have said no matter how routine the procedure it is still your child and you will worry.
It is not easier for a smaller procedure. I think it is harder because you keep hoping you can avoid it.
All I can offer is that I thought at the time my daughter was having her heart surgery and the complications that followed that I would never recover. I have and I think that is the only thing that will help you, having the procedure over with and having your precious baby back.
I will be sending you good vibes.

Anonymous said...

My son also had tubes surgery recently and it was terrifying for me. The thing that helped me feel better both before and during the surgery was talking to a nurse and a child life specialist from the hospital and having them talk me through everything that was going to be happening. It put my mind at ease to understand exactly what to expect and what he was going through and also allowed me to explain to him (in detail appropriate to his age) what was going to happen. He was actually excited to go to the hospital (where the ambulance people go), go the "sleep" and get his popsicles after he "woke up" and he wants to go back. We also took pictures of his adventure and made him a book. I hope this helps. Best of luck to you!!

Heather said...

It's hard when you can't protect your children. You wouldn't be a great parent if you weren't scared about this!

Anonymous said...

all surgeries are scary--for me i focused on the things i could control. bring along your photo album and look through it and talk about all the funny pictures, etc...it helps pass the time! i also brought along the baby book and worked on it--it made me focus on something else for that time. and it gave my husband and me time to work on it together--which was nice.

also, bring along a blankie or something special from home--and rub it on your chest some so that your scent is on it...i know it sounds silly, but it will calm him! he will like that smell of home and you!!

good luck and hang in there!!! you have a group of people out here saying prayers for you and your family!!!

Anonymous said...

My two 1/2 year old had hernia repair surgery on both sides just 5 weeks ago. The day of the procedure was rough- she woke up disoriented and hysterical, but it only lasted a short while. She slept most of the day and then to our amazement- she hopped out of bed at 5:30 am the next morning and said her boo-boos were all better. By that afternoon I had to physically stop her from doing somersaults around the room.

Anonymous said...

My special needs son had the same surgery you are talking about at 18 months, along with a couple of other procedures. He was groggy and out of it for a couple of hours, but came out of it just fine. He had had ear tubes done before this, so this wasn't his first time under, nor was it his last (most serious was heart surgery at age 5). It doesn't get any easier to let them go into the operating room, but know that the surgery is necessary and for his wellbeing, and trust that your doctors know what they are doing. You'll be holding him back in your arms before you know it.

Annie, The Evil Queen said...

My son had a double hernia operation last fall at about 18 months old. He did great and the biggest problem was keeping him from being too active for the week after the surgery. It's a scary time but you will both be fine. Keep praying and make sure you have plenty of support that day.

maybaby said...

My son had the exact same surgery, though we were able to wait until he was five to do it.

It was scary, but the staff and nurses at the outpatient center made the experience as pleasant and low key as possible. It was nice to get there and see that they'd prepared a bed for him that was covered with toys and little trinkets and decked out in a special cuddly blanket that he got to keep. When I saw the label on the blanket, I felt so much better...it had been made by a dear friend of our family who's part of a group that makes these cuddly blankets for pediatric hospital patients.

When he came out of the anasthetic, he asked to go home. The nurse told him he could leave after he showed us that he could pee. He sat up, demanded to be carried to the bathroom. We did, he peed and then looked up at the nurse and said "We're leaving now. Thanks. Bye."

The recovery was tough the first few days, since our son's reaction to the meds and stress was to get very hyper and he was supposed to be quiet and calm. For next few weeks, we swam in the pool a lot since that was the one activity he could do without messing up his internal stitches.

This past July, he had his one year check with the urologist and he's absolutely fine. No complications, no atrophy, all is well and the surgery and recovery seem like a distant memory. He healed amazingly fast and since they gave him a sedative first thing, he only remembers the bed full of toys.

Though no surgery feels routine when your kids are involved, this one if pretty straightforward and most urologists do a lot of them. It really will all be ok. I understand your feelings completely, since my husband and I felt the exact same way.

Julie said...

If it helps, my husband works with a top pediatric urologist and they understand parents and worry. It doesn't matter if it's a "routine" thing, they take every case as if it were their own loved one (well, with a more level head than if it were their own, but you get the idea). They just adore these kids and while they'll tell you it's routine and nothing to worry about, they also know without a doubt that you'll worry and that they would too, because it's your kid and that's what you do.

Lots of prayers.

kgirl said...

Even if it is routine, and you know he will be fine (and HE WILL be fine), this is anguish for a mother.
No mother wants their child to suffer any discomfort or confusion. But trust the doctors to do their very best with your little guy, and trust your love to good as new in no time.

Sending you all my love and good thoughts.

Marilyn said...

I don't know if it will make you feel any better, but my son had this surgery several years ago. It was after we had lost our baby due to stillbirth and I was pretty much an emotional wreck. That hour and a half under general anesthesia was the most agonizing hour and a half of my LIFE. And when, post-op, my poor child started to writhe in pain I literally went all Shirley-MacLaine-in-Terms-of-Endearment on the nurses and demanded they give him some pain meds.

But seriously? It really wasn't a big deal, he went home mere hours later and the next day he was feeling right as rain and even wanted to go back to preschool. So while mama might be worse for the wear, your little angel will be good as new in no time. And you'll have us sending all our best wishes to you as well.

DDM said...

I'm a little late to this, I'm sorry. My son has had brain surgery AND surgery for undescended testicles. I know very well the fear of waiting for surgery. Sending hugs your way.

The hardest part for me, both times, was handing my son over to the anesthesia team and watching the nurse carry him away. I don't know how to tell you to get through that, except to admit that it's hard to prepare you for the crying fit you'll have. It's okay, you aren't the first OR the last mom to lose her sh!t at that moment.

The first 48 hours of recovery for the testicle surgery is the worst part. KEEP HIM MEDICATED, don't wait to see how he's doing. Give doses at exactly the hourly intervals that they're allowed during the first 48 hours. It's much harder to knock pain back down, than it is to keep it at bay. And at the 48 hour mark you will be SHOCKED that he will seem to have completely healed. I'm serious, I couldn't believe it!

Hang in there mama, I'm thinking of you!!!!! You're not alone!!!

Ally said...

Oh, so many hugs to you, worrying mama. You are perfectly normal to be worried like this; there can be nothing easy in handing off your child, knowing he'll be "under" for that long, and that you won't be allowed to hold his hand. I don't have any words of wisdom or comfort for you, other than I'm offering up a little prayer that you'll be at peace and that your little man will be just fine.

Kyla said...

We've never had surgery, but she's had other tests. MRI's requiring anesthesia, lumbar punctures, ect. I know the fear. It is okay to worry. And really? It doesn't matter that other's are dealing with "bigger" things. When it is your baby, it is the biggest it can possibly be. Hang in there.

Jaelithe said...

My son had surgery when he was eight months old, to remove a benign tumor from his skull. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. And like you, I kept feeling guilty for being so terrified, because, obviously, there were other kids in worse shape. I could see some of them right there at the hospital, waiting for treatment alongside my child.

Be sure your husband comes with you and is ready to stay there for the whole procedure and help with the aftercare. Make him take off work the day of the surgery and the day after if he hasn't already, if it is at all possible. If your husband can't be there with you, find someone else to come (I know this is short notice, and I'm sorry I didn't catch you earlier, but surely someone will come with you-- a grandma, an aunt, a co-worker-- ANYONE with a sympathetic ear. Heck, if you live anywhere near me, I'll come over). It's a lot easier to deal with these things when you have help.

Give your baby a hug for me. I think everything will be fine.

Anonymous said...

My son had same surgery at 8 mos - scariest day of my life but he was completely fine and back to his old self the next day. It's natural to be scared - def. bring someone for support that day! It's too much for one person.

My son is five now and just started kindergarten - hope this helps! good luck!

daysgoby said...

HBM - Has anyone heard how his surgery went?